HAPPY MARCH 1st!
As spring approaches, we found something through AAA which needs to be passed along – might be helpful in reminding everyone that we need to remain diligent!
SPRING STORM PREPARATION
Check gutters and downspouts in early spring to make sure they are pointing away from your home. It’s a good rule of thumb to check the entry points where rainwater enters to ensure the area is free of leaves and debris, which may cause water to back up and flow in an unintended direction – towards or into the home. Install splash blocks at the water outlet points of downspouts or install underground piping to further direct water away from your home.
Familiarize yourself with flood insurance because heavy rain often has fast rising water. Many people are not aware that flood damage is not provided by a common homeowner’s insurance policy.
Two or three consecutive rainy days combined with windy conditions typically cause trees or limbs to fall. Spring is a good time to inspect trees, fences and other structures as proactive measures to avoid something from landing on your home. If extreme storm warnings are communicated in advance, always move any unsecured patio furniture, sports equipment or items that have potential to blow into your house or property. And, should trees or limbs happen to fall, remember to move your automobile out of striking distance to avoid potential damage.
Lastly, it is always a good idea to trim back branches and foliage encroaching the home’s roof area, windows, outside walls, fences and decking.
It’s fascinating to see frozen balls of ice falling form the sky when it is 80 degrees outside. However, hail is extremely damaging to homes and automobiles. Pull your vehicles inside a garage or carport, if available, to prevent damage to the finish and glass. Notify your homeowners’ insurance company as soon as storm damage occurs and seek an expert opinion to assess the situation. If someone uninvited comes to your home and claims you have damage, consider this a red flag and proceed with caution before entering into any repair contracts.
– Jim McCafferty, Senior Vice President of AAA Insurance Services
As many of you know, we take not only a professional interest, but personal interest as well in many of our customers and we have a new favorite customer to add to our list! As these photos reflect, a massive storm passed through and left a huge tree in the middle of the living room – what was outside was now inside and what was inside was either covered in rafters, insulation, attic items or roof.
This type of major damage, unfortunately, causes great consternation for both the homeowner and the insurance company. Although the homeowner’s clock starts ticking, some insurance companies are less than rapid to respond, creating an even greater problem when waiting on adjusters and prices and work to get started!
Once the insurance company decides a claim is warranted, an adjuster (maybe several) examines the damage, a cost is agreed to and the contractor can begin the repairs. In the interim, we performed a complete pack-out of the home, cleaned all items and moved them to storage without a guarantee of payment from the insurance company – a risk we often take.
In many cases, the repair agreement can take a while to reach, depending upon what the insurance company feels is justified, such as a consultation with structural engineers, building code upgrades, and believe it or not, a firm quote from us regarding how many dumpster hauls will be required for the repair!
For two months, our customer was living in temporary housing and an agreement was still in negotiation without repairs starting. Please understand, the goal of many insurance companies is to provide customer service. Some insurance companies would prefer the homeowner to fix the damage themselves free of charge. Thus the conundrum.
Good news cometh in drips – we began repairs without an agreed price and eventually worked out the details with the insurance company. It’s often hard to believe that someone behind a desk hundreds of miles away thinks they can run a project better and more efficiently than the contractor on site while the homeowner is temporarily “homeless.” It can happen.
Once approved, actual repairs took about 2 months and our customer is back home! A few updates were performed to boot and we think the home turned out great!!! Take a look at some of the “before and after” photos below!
For the patience, time and effort, blood, sweat and tears required, we thank you and…
HAPPY THANKSGIVING and a MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS
Leslie and Tom!!
As we discussed last week, we are going to take you through the necessary steps WHEN YOU HAVE A PROBLEM!
A property disaster can take many, many forms – fire, water, storm/wind, mold, vandalism, trauma, etc. – each will be addressed in the upcoming weeks. However, there are a few basic things to keep in mind, no matter what happens.
Remember, you are responsible for mitigating your damage. Insurance companies frown upon a broken water pipe where there was an opportunity to turn off the water and it wasn’t done. Same with a fire and the front door has not been boarded up to prevent additional vandalism, etc. If a tree goes through your roof, you need to have a tarp placed over the damaged area to prevent additional water damage inside.
It is recommended that you call your insurance agent or a qualified emergency services contractor as soon as possible. A good agent will listen to your story and give you an idea of how to proceed. In some instances, your deductible may come close to the amount of damage you have incurred. If this is the case, you probably do NOT want to file a claim. This all depends upon your personal financial threshold – if a claim is $1,500.00 and you have a $1,000.00 deductible, can you handle the difference? Bear in mind, you may not be able to reach your agent on the weekend or the middle of the night. As a company, we are generally opposed to the 1-800 numbers as your claim will be automatically placed in the system. However, there is a resolution to this problem. As we promote ourselves, 1st Aide Restoration (or another qualified contractor) is available 24/7 on an emergency basis. Just call for information or help and we or a reputable contractor will either come to your rescue or point you in the right direction. We will normally make a free visit during normal hours to help determine if you need to file a claim and will work with your agent and insurance company to reduce as much red tape as possible.
The most important information we can relay to you, however, is IT IS YOUR CHOICE TO DETERMINE WHO HELPS YOU. Yes, we are going there…many insurance companies have set up contractor programs and will refer you to one of their “preferred” contractors.
● Some of the larger restoration companies have a national contract with the insurance companies and the local franchise owners just may not be that good.
● We believe this is a conflict of interest for both the insurance company and the contractor.
● With a program, it is in the contractor’s best interest to satisfy the insurance company – NOT YOU.
● A good agent will refer or suggest approximately 3 contractor names – YOU MAKE A CHOICE. We have chosen not to pursue programs for this very reason and have decided to let our credentials and experience speak for themselves.
● Please be aware of contractors who show up unsolicited as a result of chasing fire trucks or listening to scanners. They can be VERY pushy.
● Check out your Better Business Bureau for reputable contractors and the contractor’s website for further information.
● You are the customer and YOU have to be happy. There are just too many chances for things to go wrong when you do not have an independent advocate on your side.
If the problem happens, call us – we can help.
Next week, we will begin examining each type of problem and guide you through the process with more information.
Against the Wind, we were running against the wind….
Based on predictions for tonight, we could see some extreme weather in our area. You should:
- Make sure to secure all loose items on your porch or patio.
- If high or rotating winds happen, move to an interior room or basement.
- Make sure that everyone is accounted for and safe (including pets!)
- If trees or limbs DO damage your home and cause a leak, try to move items that might get wet to a safer place until the roof can be tarped.
- Call 1st Aide Restoration, Inc. for assistance, but no matter who you call, make sure they are Licensed General Contractors. You also have the freedom to choose your contractor, you’re not required to use your insurance company’s preferred vendor.
First, we’d like to send a BIG THANK YOU to GET YOU FOUND ON-LINE MARKETING for their efforts in getting us up and rolling with our newly renovated website! We love working with local companies and making our small contribution to our local economy! Every penny helps, right?
Thanks to their help, We are now able to send you quick tips and updates to help you avoid catastrophes! Sounds like we might be putting ourselves out of business, but our mission is “Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reason.”
So we know when the worst happens, you can also rely on us to get your life back in order! Those of you who are familiar with us know we are experts in restoring Water, Fire, Wind and Smoke damages with specialized expertise and qualifications to handle both residential and commercial Mold damage and professional carpet cleaning. As General Contractors, you can call us the one-stop shop.
More to come as soon as we learn how to blog and we promise Doug will not blog more than once a week!
Look no further than 1st Aide Restoration for all your water, fire, storm, mold damage and carpet cleaning needs.
Located in Greensboro
1st Aide Restoration, Inc.,
1221 Rail Street
Greensboro, NC 27407
We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover for your deductible.